How do you feel we compare to our competitors?

  | James Innes

How do you feel we compare to our competitors?

Alternative and related questions:

How would you rate us against our competitors?
What advantages do you feel we have over our competitors?

The meaning behind the question:

No, the interviewer isn't just fishing for compliments.  First of all, they'll be interested to see whether you've done your homework and do indeed not only know who their competitors are but also how they operate.  Secondly – albeit not related to your job application – they'll have a natural curiosity as regards an outsider's opinion of their organisation and its competitors.

Your answer:

A potentially tricky question but another opportunity to impress the interviewer with the research you've conducted, both on their organisation and on the sector in which they operate.  Above all, of course, phrase your answer in such a manner that makes it clear to the interviewer that you'd much rather work for them than any of their competitors. But do make it sound convincing and not just like you're buttering them up!  What do you, honestly, feel sets this organisation apart from its competition?  Why do you want to work for them and not their competition?  Pick – and elaborate on – at least one positive difference between them and their competition.  Don't even think of discussing anything which is less than 100% positive.


In conducting my market research when embarking on my job hunt, I obviously took a close look not only at your company but also at your competitors.  I'm aware that some of your competitors have a larger market share, higher turnover and higher profits but what struck me about your company was its outstanding reputation for customer service and customer care.  Some of your competitors may have a larger share of the market for the time being but, judging by the number of disgruntled customers posting their comments on the Internet, I'm convinced that I can work with you to ensure that we end up overtaking them.  You've clearly focused on quality and reputation above all else, knowing that if you get this right then the profits will follow.  That's a strategy I agree with wholeheartedly.

Word of warning:

You can be skating on thin ice with questions such as this if you say something which you are unable to fully substantiate, should the interviewer decide to dig deeper.  As always, conducting thorough research prior to your interview is absolutely vital.

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